The Pictsweet Co. is recalling its frozen Steam’ables asparagus spears because one of its suppliers “inadvertently” shipped it product suspected of being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Pictsweet reports distributing the frozen asparagus to 34 states and Puerto Rico, but the company’s recall notice on the FDA’s website does not include any information about what retailers may have received the product. Similarly, the recall notice does not name the supplier of the frozen asparagus that is packaged under the Pictsweet brand.

As of the posting of the recall notice on Nov. 14, there hadn’t been any confirmed reports of illnesses in relation to the recalled asparagus. However, it can take up to 70 days for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop.

Listeria monocytogenes easily survives freezing and the distant best-by date on the recalled asparagus — Aug. 1, 2020 — raises concerns that consumers may have unused portions of the product in their homes. Pictsweet is recalling more than 1,800 cases of the frozen asparagus.

Consumers can identify the recalled product, which is in 8-ounce packages, by looking for the UPC number 0 70560 97799 9, any production codes beginning with “2138XD” and a best-by date of Aug. 1, 2020. The information is printed on the back panel of each package.

“The company initiated this recall after it was notified by the manufacturer that product suspected of containing Listeria monocytogenes was inadvertently shipped to The Pictsweet Company,” according to the company recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration website.

Pictsweet shipped the recalled frozen asparagus to Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Consumers who have purchased Pictsweet Farms 8 ounce Steam’ables Asparagus Spears with the code listed above may contact the company’s consumer affairs line at 800-527-0986 or return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Advice to consumers
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled product and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

Also, anyone who has eaten any of the recalled product should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop. 

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses. 

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)